Wednesday, April 1, 2020

UPDATED: What They Don't Want You To Know

That's an easy one and it's been obvious for a long time. They--our civil authorities and the "news" media--don't want you to know who's getting sick with Covid19. The answer is as obvious as the question. For example, let's take New York City, the epicenter of the pandemic in the US. This tweet provides easy to grasp data in map form. The first slide provides density of those testing positive by zip code. The second slide provides the ethnic makeup of neighborhoods.

As you'll see, Covid19 is no respecter of ethnic background, but nevertheless Blacks and HIspanics in New York City are disproportionately those testing positive. A prominent outlier is the Williamsburg neighborhood, with its heavily Satmar Hasidic population:

As a bonus, for those who want to get granular, here's a NYT ethnic map of NYC. It dates from 2011, but the general outlines are probably roughly similar:

These patterns may vary from one urban area to the next, but in cities like Boston, Philly, Chicago, Detroit, Atlanta, and Miami--to name a few--I would expect to see patterns that are at least similar.

UPDATED: Commenter "Anonymous" aka "Jim" took exception to this post. Some of his comments had validity, other of his comments not so much. Most pertinently, he pointed out that the response by zipcode only included 11% of those testing positive--so we don't know where the other 89% live. Further, we don't know from the map how many people in each zipcode were tested.

It takes a bit of doing--switching back and forth between the maps and a table of numbers--but it is possible to get a fair picture, and one which validates what Farzad Mostashari is saying. My basic response is that 11% as a polling sample of a population is pretty darn good. If we can accept that, there is a list of NYC zipcodes here (h/t Gregory C. Belmont) that provides total tests and total numbers of positive tests for each zipcode. I did some crosschecking, and discovered. that the zipcodes that showed dark purple--high percent positive--also had high numbers of tests. Thus, Black and Hispanic areas with high percentages of positive results also had high total cases.

I noted above that Covid19 is no respecter of ethnicities. A number of predominantly White zipcodes also had very high percentages of positive tests--notably two zipcodes on Staten Island. Perhaps not surprisingly, the large Chinese/Asian area of Flushing includes some zipcodes (11355) with high positive percentages--although in that case the total number tested is not as high as among other ethnicities. On the other hand, zipcode 11211, which covers much of Williamsburg, had high total numbers as well as high positive percentages.

So, overall I stand by this post. It may not be as in depth as we might like, but that's part of the point. That information should be available and probably is--just not to the general public. Which is what I was saying--The Don't Want You To Know These Things.


  1. Yesterday's WhiteHouse briefing was grim. I guess they're not considering my idea of FEMA trailers distributing Chloroquine medication to neighborhoods like candy. When I was a kid we had a book-mobile distributing library books. Why can't they have Doctor-mobile?

    1. The stuff costs like 10 cents a pill, and you only need a pill a day for six days.

    2. Some should not take hydroxychloroquinone due to pre-existing conditions and/or medications they are taking for those. Seems they believe a doctor’s individual okay is required. Side effects:

      Follow arrows/links to Precautions, Interactions, Overdose

    3. From the CDC:

      There are no currently available data from Randomized Clinical Trials (RCTs) to inform clinical guidance on the use, dosing, or duration of hydroxychloroquine for prophylaxis or treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Although optimal dosing and duration of hydroxychloroquine for treatment of COVID-19 are unknown, some U.S. clinicians have reported anecdotally different hydroxychloroquine dosing such as: 400mg BID on day one, then daily for 5 days; 400 mg BID on day one, then 200mg BID for 4 days; 600 mg BID on day one, then 400mg daily on days 2-5.

      More info here on this and on Remdesivir and other drugs under consideration.

      Re the Azithromycin which is part of the cocktail that has been used, along with hydroxychloroquinone and zinc, I can personally vouch for its safety and its efficacy in my own experience, where it walloped two separate seemingly endless and exhausting (coughing) bouts with bronchitis. I am not able to take cipro and other fluoroquinolones due to a longlasting adverse reaction. Z-Paks took care of those two illnesses and derailed what looked like another coming more recently. Good stuff. It was also included early on in the slew of meds that HIV positives had to take. It kept the deadly pneumonia away.

  2. We have a real bugaboo in this country where we cannot talk openly and honestly in public about racial matters. Point of fact, there are some serious problems in a large subsection of the American black community. And I choose the words “American black community” because, despite our strides in race relations, there is still lingering hostility on both sides of the white/black divide. We should be one people, but we are not. “African-American” is a prominent example of what I am trying to illustrate. I note that there is also a small, but growing, subsection of white Americans who have the same problems. So, it’s really poverty and ignorance that I’m talking about, and, as a percentage of the black race, there are more blacks in this group. So from here on out, I’m just focusing on the ‘lower’ class. I hate to use that phrase as I am not implying any type of superiority.

    Too many Americans are in broken homes, have no father, lack real education due to bad parents, a bad school or a learning environment that doesn’t value education, i.e., peer pressure, and sometimes violence is prevalent in the school. Add to this Leftism, which teaches that there is no God, you are owed something, ‘we’ll’ take care of you, do what you want because all morals are relative, race hustlers of all colors, the diversity and inclusion crowd and no wonder so many lives are in turmoil. The talent and purpose that God intended for them in their lives is lost, or, if they ever can climb out of their environment, is at least long delayed.

    So it’s no wonder that many people are going to die unnecessarily because they either can’t, won’t or don’t know how to navigate these treacherous times.

  3. Quite honestly, you can't draw any conclusions from that map other than the people going into get tested (ie; going to the hospital)from the purplish areas are testing positive greater than 50% of the time. Whereas in the other areas, they test positive less than 50% of the time. That tells me that the people in the blueish areas are more paranoid. That is all that can be derived from that map. Jim

  4. I just want to follow up on my previous reply. The man posting that tweet, Farzad Mostashari, is apparently someone who was very high up in the ranks of NYS Health and CDC. He stated that this was a map of Covid in NYC. It is not. He is either a liar or not very bright. Both possibilities concern me but do not surprise me. Jim

  5. Anon Jim, what is your factual basis for this comment?

    He stated that this was a map of Covid in NYC. It is not. He is either a liar or not very bright. Both possibilities concern me but do not surprise me.

    Pretty strong. Link to some contradictory facts?

    1. Look at the title of the map. "Percent of Patients Testing Positive by Zip Code" This map does not indicate case density. It just states the positive test percentages in any zip code. Apparently 89% of the people who didn't report a zip code tested positive. Jim

    2. Actually, in polling an 11% sample of any given population is excellent.

    3. Also, your initial comment is dishonest, in that the map shows four distinct % ranges. It's true that the highest and lowest percent ranges are somewhat wide compared to the two middle ranges, but they are distinct and do provide a picture of Covid19 in NYC that breaks down along ethnic and economic lines. Have a nice day.

    4. It is not surprising a culture that is more apt to close contact is getting hit harder.

      However, things are more complex.

    5. It's not only close contact, although that's a part of it, but also diet related diseases--many of the 'comorbidities' that make people more vulnerable are diet related. Diabetes, heart disease of various sorts, and others. Smoking is another factor for some of those 'comorbidities'. Smoking and unhealthy diets are more common among some of the demographics with the higher incidence of Covid19.

    6. Mark and Bebe...I wasn't dissing your posts or anything of the sort. I'm am saying the chart has no density of cases. In other words, if I hypothetically live in a zip code in which 4 people were tested and 3 were positive, then my zipcode is at 75% and it would colored purple. But it is only 3 positives. But another zip code could have 1000 positive cases out of 4000 tests and be at 25%,
      and get a different color. So for making your point, which is in all likelihood, valid, this map is not showing any useful data. Mr. Motashari, being an expert in these things, should clearly know this. Almost lastly, I don't understand what you mean by 11% polling sample. The 89% figure is simply saying that 89% of people tested who did not report a zip code were positive. Lastly, I love your blog and would never diss you or it. Just trying to help out. Jim

    7. Jim, I believe my UPDATE addresses your helpful points--and I do thank you for spurring me to do some extra research.

      The zipcode table I link to clearly shows that, while there are a very few instances of relatively low sample sizes in a high percent zipcode--perhaps counterintuitively in the Queens Chinatown area of Flushing, largest Chinatown in the US--virtually all the other high percentage zipcodes show higher totals than low percentage areas. Which simply means that asymptomatic people aren't getting tested and that the symptomatic people are almost certainly concentrated in the high percentage zipcodes.

      Thus, the map is actually providing useful data.

  6. I guess I am more of a numbers and text person.

    Article on the CAtesting Snafu. I found it after the tweet you referenced in this post, his account somebody tweeted about the Atlantic Article and claimed it explained the SNAFU. Unfortunately, it did not. I finally had a chance to go through it.

    As a CA resident, I am worried!

    Private Labs Are Fueling a New Coronavirus Testing Crisis
    The Atlantic

    Alexis C. Madrigal - Wrote book on Green Technology
    Robinson Meyer - Climate Change & Technology
    March 31, 2020

    Stuff I agree with the article on:

    1. California has a back log of about 60,000 CoronaVirus Tests
    2. CA is now up to about 2,000 tests a day, from 1,000 a week ago
    3. Quest Diagnostics has a lab in San Juan Capistrano that is doing much of the testing
    4. NY is doing 16,000 tests a day
    5. CA is behind other states on testing

    Site that has good statistics:

    Strange Stuff:
    1. Article seems to be blaming private test labs for back log
    2. If you do a Control F, no mention of California's Governor
    3. No mention of WHY the number of tests done in CA has not increased, as other states have
    4. If Quest Changed over to the Roche Test that takes 45 minutes, why no increase in the number of tests done?
    5. Why no mention of the 150,000 test kits the CA bought from HK per Gov. Newsom?
    6. No mention that at the current through put, of 2,000 test a day, it would take 30 days to process the tests. Backlog is from a week ago., March 26, 2020. Seems to me pretty soon those test results would be useless?
    7. Says testing is being prioritized due to Trump, for Medical Personal. I take this as an attempt to blame Trump for this mess.
    8. Little mention of how the CDC and FDA screwed up the initial testing. They do link to an Atlantic Article that is very good on the subject by a different author -
    9. No mention of shortage of key chemicals.

  7. Speaking of the general issue of What They Don't Want You To Know, 1/2 hour ago Fox had a segment, on hospitals' threats to fire staff who sing to media about where the bras drops the ball on virus stuff (e.g. mask rules).
    Brutally, Huckabee etc. were dissing these staffers, and pressing them to take beefs to Proper Authorities (as if these Authorities would do other than sweep turds under rugs!).
    Huckabee etc. made references to HIPPA etc. considerations, as if they really pertained to charges of huge maladministration.

    Evidence just keeps piling in, that the Establishment, even in a purported "crisis", still cares more about its ass-covering habits, than about all other matters.
    Barr, Durham, or someone, somewhere, must face music, that this whole US system desperately needs the Mother of All HouseCleanings.

    1. Still more on hospital policies, from the CBC, at :

      "The biggest mistake we made was, to admit patients infected with COVID-19, INTO hospitals throughout the region," said Carlo Borghetti, the vice-PREMIER of Lombardy, an economically crucial region, with a population of 10 million.

      "We should have immediately set up SEPARATE structures, exclusively for people sick with coronavirus.
      I recommend the rest of the world do this, to not send COVID patients, into health-care facilities, that are still uninfected."

      ... "It was like throwing a *lit match* onto a haystack," said Borghetti, who spoke out against the directive at the time.
      "Some facilities REFUSED to take in the positive patients. For those that did [take them in], it was *devastating*."

      ... "For the past 20 years, the region invested heavily in hospitals, which are now among the best in Europe," Borghetti said.
      "Unfortunately, we did not make the same investment in *local* health services: health clinics, rehab facilities, community nursing and family doctors. And as a result, we're *drowning* [in the epidemic]."

    2. That also tells you something about how dangerous this thing is.